Organic Ancho Chile Powder
Pronounced "Ahn-cho", the ancho chile pepper is the most widely used dried chile in authentic Mexican cuisine. The Ancho Chile is actually a dried Poblano pepper, and Ancho Chile translates to "wide chile" in Spanish. Poblanos are from the species Capsicum Annum.
Our Organic Ancho Powder is cultivated from chiles grown in the US.
Poblanos are indigenous to Puebla, Mexico, and this mild chile is one of the most popular peppers grown in the Mexico, topped only by the Jalapeno and Serrano chile.
Even for Mexico, Puebla is considered a very Catholic city, and it is said that there are enough churches for a person to visit a different church every day of the year and not be in the same one twice. The town's full name is actually Puebla de los Angeles meaning "People of the Angels."
The Spanish missionaries who arrived in the area in the 1500-1700s claimed considerable land in the region and built numerous chapels, churches, convents and monasteries with the purpose of converting as many locals as possible to their Christian beliefs. With this heavy religious influence, it's understandable how the Catholic Church played a very prominent in the city's development.
The Catholic Church also shaped Puebla's cuisine. Both official church documents and local legend has perpetuated the story of how some of the region's most iconic dishes were created by nuns at various convents throughout the city. The sisters combined European cooking techniques with local ingredients to produce delicious results, from sweets such as camotes de Santa Clara (a soft candy made from sweet potatoes) to mole poblano (see below) and chiles en nogada which is a poblano chile filled with picadillo (a hash consisting of minced meat and dried fruit), covered in a white walnut sauce and topped with parsley and pomegranate seeds). Puebla's culinary tradition, called "Cocina Poblana" is popular throughout Mexico.
The poblano plant grows to about 2 feet tall and produces chile pods that are 3" - 6" long and 2" - 3" wide. Poblano chiles mature from a deep green in color to a dark red and almost brownish black as they age. The poblano chiles you see in the grocery store are picked when they are still green. Ancho chiles are poblano chiles that are allowed to ripen to a deep red before they are picked and dried. Mulato chiles are also dried poblano chiles, but they are not harvested until they are fully ripened to the dark brownish black color.
The Dried Ancho Chile is a key chile in the famous "holy trinity" of Mexican chiles used in Mexican mole (pronounced MOH-leh), along with the Pasilla Negro and the Mulato chiles. Mole is the signature dish of the region's cuisine and in addition to the chiles, this spicy sauce also contains Canela (aka Ceylon cinnamon), nuts and Mexican chocolate (this is different than chocolate commonly found in the US, and is made from ground roasted cacao nibs, cinnamon and sugar) and is typically served over chicken.
Depending on the region, different chiles may be marketed as Ancho Chiles when they are not. In California, Ancho chiles are often incorrectly mixed with or substituted with the Pasilla de Negro chile - which don't look, let alone taste, anything like Ancho chiles. Pasilla chiles are long and thin and have a very different flavor profile. Mulato chiles are also sometimes sold as Ancho Chiles.
Ground Organic Ancho Chile Powder can be used in spice rubs, to add intensity to adobados (meat marinated or seasoned with an adobo is referred to as adobado), beans, beef, casseroles, chicken, dips, pasta, pizza, popcorn, pork, red chili, rice, salsa, sauces (especially for enchiladas), soups and stews.
For a sweet heat treat mix Organic Ancho Powder with some fresh honey to create an ancho-honey glaze that can be brushed onto salmon before sautéeing.
Some of our favorite recipes using Ancho Chiles are Cinnamon and Ancho Chile Bark, Black Beans and Mexican Chorizo, and Pozole Rojo.
Organic Ancho Chile Powder has a mild fruity, sweet, slightly smoky flavor with undertones of plum, raisin, tobacco and a slightly earthy bitterness.
Considered a mild to medium heat chile (2,500-3,500 on the Scoville Heat Scale).
Ancho chile pepper conversions: 1 heaping tablespoon of ancho powder (weighs approximately 1/4 oz) = 1 whole Ancho Chile.
If you are looking for an ancho chile powder substitute go with Guajillo or Pasilla Negro chile powder.
** This product is certified kosher.
Serving Size1 tsp
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*